BLACK FACES PROJECT
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where nearly half of the population is afrodescendent. During my childhood I spent my summer vacation in Madureira, the ‘black” neighborhood where my father grew up, his mother and siblings still lived there. Because of this I had the opportunity to experience the black culture like religion, music, dance as if I was one of them. I've carried these memories and experiences through my life.
The black population in Brazil, as in many other countries, are not truthfully or accurately portrayed in books and media. So in 2003 I started a personal project about the african brazilian to portray the beauty and culture of these people through individual faces with different attitudes and lifestyles, but in 2004 I moved to United States then I included the African Americans and the Africans who lived America. Once a year I came to Brazil to photography the afro brazilians. My portraits reflect the value, uniqueness and worthiness of self, and they provide a sense of the presence of this population that is often ignored or misrepresented. In my images I try to reflect a sense of the person, the individual who lies beneath the image. My work portrays people in a non traditional way and their facial expressions convey different kinds of emotions. Generally the people I work with are not models, but regular people that wish to be photographed.
From an aesthetic perspective I like the contrasts and textures that I get when converting photographs into black and white.
I keep the pictures as simple as possible with nothing that will distract the eye from the main idea. I try not to spend too much time in the post processing because I prefer to achieve most of what I have in mind when I am photographing. Hays, clays, straws and other things related to African/ black culture can be seen in my work . In September 2012 I launched the book Black Faces in Brazil. In February 2013 I moved back to Brazil.
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